Wilmington, NC – National Travel and Tourism Week 2017 is all about celebrating the power of travel and the dedicated people who make the industry and travel experiences for the visitors remarkable. This year’s National Travel & Tourism Week theme, “The Faces of Travel,” shines a spotlight on the people who keep the industry strong.

Each year the Wilmington and Beaches Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) coordinates the local observance of National Travel and Tourism Week by engaging travel partners, visitors, local tourism businesses and elected officials. As part of this year’s local observance, the CVB will kick off the week’s activities by launching a #GoLocal campaign across all of the destination’s social media channels. More than 20 #GoLocal videos will initially kick off the campaign and more content will be added throughout the summer. The videos, filmed to date, can be found in the media galleries for Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. 

The #GoLocal social media campaign is intended to help spread awareness of Wilmington and its island beaches as a vacation destination among potential visitors, as well as encourage engagement with the destination brand both in-market and out-of-market. The campaign features video content that showcases attractions, landmarks and other things to see and do that are unique to the area or noteworthy for one particular reason or another.

#GoLocal content features Wilmington area influencers including bloggers, fashionistas, restaurateurs, athletes and more. Content will be promoted on Wilmington’s social media channels using the hashtag #GoLocalWILM, and on social media channels for Carolina Beach, Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach with #GoLocalCB, #GoLocalKB and #GoLocalWB, as well as #nttw17 and #FacesofTravel. Influencers participating in the campaign may also share content on their own social media channels and owned networks to help increase the campaign’s reach.

“During National Travel and Tourism Week, the CVB rallies the industry to share the importance of travel and tourism to our economy. This year we are taking it a step further by launching the #GoLocal social media campaign and recognizing some of the people in our industry who demonstrate excellence,” states Kim Hufham, president/CEO of the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority d/b/a Wilmington and Beaches CVB. “Travel provides more than 5,840 jobs in New Hanover County and nearly every business in New Hanover County is impacted either directly or indirectly by the new dollars that visitors bring into our community. The new dollars generated by tourism help build our local tax base and provide a better quality of life for our residents. Room occupancy tax collections help to renourish our beaches, fund our convention center, and offset other tourism-related activities such as ocean safety programs.”

Travel is a catalyst that moves Wilmington’s economy forward, and the future looks bright. In New Hanover County, room occupancy tax collections for fiscal year 2015-2016 recorded a fifth consecutive benchmark year. And, according to Visit North Carolina, tourism expenditures in New Hanover County also had another record year in 2015 (most recent data available), with an estimated $520.86 million in tourism expenditures, ranking it as No. 8 among North Carolina’s 100 counties. Travel provides more than 5,840 jobs in New Hanover County and supports a payroll of $121.05 million. Travel helps provide a better quality of life for our citizens, generating approximately $46.17 million in state and local tax receipts and representing a $209.53 tax saving to each New Hanover County resident.

National Travel and Tourism Week – which is taking place this year from May 7-13 – is an annual tradition for the U.S. travel community, established by a congressional resolution in 1983 and first observed the following year. It is a time when travel and tourism professionals across the country unite to celebrate the unique value travel holds for the economy, businesses and personal well-being. At its April 17 meeting, New Hanover County Commissioners signed a Proclamation to designate May 7-13, 2017 as National Travel & Tourism Week in New Hanover County.

In addition to launching the #GoLocal campaign to encourage visitors to “go local,” the CVB will engage in activities that observe the importance of tourism and the people who work in the industry, such as:

  • Visitor Information Centers in Wilmington, Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach will display “Thank You for Visiting” banners and desk posters, and distribute free mints and postcard souvenirs to visitors.
  • Industry partners encouraged to display “Thank You for Visiting” ribbons and desk posters provided by the CVB.
  • On Friday, May 12, the CVB will host its 4th annual Travel Rally Breakfast when it will gather the hospitality industry to celebrate with elected officials. During this year’s program, the CVB will unveil the #GoLocal campaign and other exciting new marketing initiatives. This year’s keynote speaker is “Ex-Disney Guy” John Formica whose inspiring message will turn the spotlight on the “faces of travel,” highlighting the vital roles they play in an industry that relies on human interaction to create a positive visitor experience. The CVB will conclude the program by announcing the recipient of the inaugural “Tourism Star Award” that recognizes hospitality and tourism industry professionals who exemplify the qualities of selfless spirit of service and leadership in their work experience. 

Whether it is the front desk concierge at a hotel, the tour guide in a city’s historic district, or the CEO of a local destination marketing organization, the industry’s people are what make America a great place to visit, and keep the industry strong. Each person employed in the travel industry plays a vital role in creating a positive visitor experience by providing a quality product and excellent customer service.

For more information about National Travel & Tourism Week, visit the U.S. Travel Association.  The New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority d/b/a Wilmington and Beaches Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of New Hanover County which stimulates economic development through the promotion of travel and tourism. For more information, go to WilmingtonAndBeaches.com. You can also find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/CapeFearCoastNC and Twitter and Instagram, @WilmingtoNCoast.



Connie Nelson
Wilmington CVB
910-341-4030 x120